Steel Cut Oats or Rolled Oats for better health

Steel cut oats or rolled oats for better health? I’ll break down an approximate nutrition label for each, explain key shopping points and determine the winner. Then at the end, I will share what brands I recommend with flavor, texture and overall health in mind!

Rolled Oats Breakdown

Rolled Oats are oat groats that have been de-husked, steamed, rolled under heavy rollers, and then lightly toasted.

Nutrition Info for 1/2 cup serving

Calories: 150
Fat: 2.5 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Carbohydrate: 28 grams
Fiber: 8 grams
Glycemic load: 16
Glycemic Index: 50

Steel Cut Oat Breakdown

Steel Cut Oats are the innermost part of the oats (oat germ) that are abundant in iron and b-vitamins, is chopped with steel discs to create steel cut oats.

Nutrition information for 1/4 cup serving

Fat: 3g
Protein: 7g
Carbohydrate: 29g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Glycemic load:15
Glycemic Index: 42

Key Points to be aware of when purchasing your oats of choice:

  • Above is a list of regular, no sugar added, all natural steel cut oats and rolled oats. You MUST check ingredient label to find out if there has been anything added to it. This could dramatically affect the label information.
  • Many brands of oats contain gluten so if you are gluten sensitive check for the big G.F for gluten-free on the labels.
  • Watch your portion sizes! If you didn’t notice before, the steel cut portion size is a 1/4 cup smaller.
  • One big key factor is glycemic index and for any food to rank below 60 is considered low and both made it below 60. Steel cut wins slightly by having a 42 score over rolled oats at 50. This is telling us that our blood sugar levels spikes slightly more when eating rolled oats.

And the Winner Goes Too. . . 

with the tiniest lead STEAL CUT OATS! Whether you are gluten sensitive or not I recommend avoiding it if you can. Steel cuts are less likely to have any gluten in them and when trying to avoid weight gain, aiming for foods lowest on the Glycemic Index the better.

I will continue to cheer for the steel cut option because I personally enjoy the texture! They are both great options though, I like to make desserts using rolled oats as flour.

woman's hands holding muesli

I search for organic gluten free options and always check the label to avoid unnecessary additives. Then for my morning hot cereal, I prefer steel cut oats with plant protein or flaxseed and stevia.

Definitely, add one if not both types of oats to your diet and gain wonderful health benefits like B-vitamins and essential fiber. Who eats boxed cereal anymore?! Just make your own cereal with one of the powerhouse grains, add some slivered almonds, stevia, fresh fruit or anything that fits your taste buds.

I do have a few recommendations if you want to try them both and find which one works for you.

Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Rolled Oats

Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats

Bob’s RedMeal Steel Cut and Rolled Oats (both options are delicious)

I see these practically everywhere that will carry healthy food. Whole foods, Ralphs, Vons, Dillons. . . the list goes on.

Mc Cann’s Irish Steel cut Oats (my mom Has a big can of this just for me when I come home to visit!)

You can get this at any Kroger grocery store like Ralphs or Dillons.

Let me know which one you prefer and what you like to add to it!?!

P.S. I am very big on nutrient timing especially when watching your weight. When it comes to eating grains like oatmeal I recommend to enjoy them in the morning or after a workout. Your body needs to replenish glycogen levels after a long night sleep and rebuilding after a workout. This goes for other grains too…Morning and Post-workout are the best!


Glycemic Info

Nutrition Label Info



  1. Hi Justine , this is ur aunt Terri ur mom sent this info from ur blog I do eat steel cut oats my favorite good info and I have never tried the flaxseed but will now thanks

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